Raipur: State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) has clarified that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during polling in the last phase of state assembly elections have been replaced as per the requirement and as per the information received about malfunctioning of EVMs from the respective polling stations.
Amid receiving complaints from various sources that EVMs have been replaced in significantly large numbers during polling in the last phase, State Chief Electoral Officer issued a release to clarify the matter.
The release stated that various sources have complained that EVMs were replaced in significantly large numbers, but the reality is the EVM machines were replaced only after receiving information about the malfunctioning from the respective polling booths.
Besides, voting in polling booths was interrupted only for half an hour to one hour, not more than that, till the dysfunctional EVMs were replaced. After the polling ended, the EVM machines on which polling was done is kept in a strong security at the respective strong rooms set up in all the districts, said the release.
State Chief Electoral Officer informed that as many as 25,640 ballot units, 19,335 control units, and 19,335 Voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines were used for polling in the second phase of polling in state assembly polls. While as many as 124 ballot units, 84 control units, and 510 VVPAT machines were replaced, after receiving information of malfunction, said the release.
An official spokesperson from Congress said that earlier on Thursday afternoon, Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee (CPCC) sent a letter to State Chief Electoral Officer demanding detailed information regarding the malfunction in voting pads, ballot units and VVPAT machines in each phase of polling in Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018.
CPCC demanded this information to know about how many machines were found malfunctioned during mock drills and how many machines were found dysfunctional during polling at each respective polling booths, said the letter issued.
The letter stated that CPCC further asked CEO to provide detailed information regarding the time duration during which the EVM machines were dysfunctional in the respective polling booths and how the commission compensated for the respective time duration. They also asked to give brief information on the number of machines in which mock drills were carried out during the replacement process.
CPCC also issued another letter on the same day to CEO demanding CCTV surveillance at all the strong rooms across the state where EVMs have been kept after polling. CPCC stated that this is very important to gain the trust of the general public and to ensure transparent and unbiased elections have been conducted in the state.